As several of South Africa's municipalities are facing a water crisis and heading towards Day Zero, Israeli water experts are set to consult local government municipalities on crucial issues affecting water infrastructure and how Israeli technology can help.
The Jewish National Fund of South Africa- (JNF-SA-) funded delegation offers an important opportunity for South Africa and Israel to work together to help solve water issues in cities and rural areas.
Israeli academics, which include academics such as Israeli Arava Institute for Environmental Studies Centre for Transboundary Water Management director Dr Clive Lipchin, will arrive in South Africa from August 8.
Lipchin is an expert in wastewater management and has worked globally with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, and with Jordanian and Palestinian water treatment teams. He recently led a group of water technology academics from the University of the Free State to Israel to examine water solutions there.
The delegation will be doing site visits with officials from the municipality of Tshwane, which will culminate in recommendations to confront the capital city’s water challenges, while a public lecture with the Johannesburg Environment and Infrastructure Service MMC Michael Sun will also be held.
In addition, the delegation will also be assisting rural communities in the Free State.
Israel is the world leader in the recycling of wastewater, with 90% of its water being reused.
The country, a hot and arid country, needed to implement creative solutions to preserve its water and developed several technologies, including drip irrigation, desalination, leak detection, drawing water from the air and wastewater recycling.
South Africa is plagued by many water-related issues including leaks which account for the loss of as much as 37% of urban water, while there is a breakdown in wastewater infrastructure leading to disease and a lack of drinkable water supply.
Already some municipalities are heading towards Day Zero, when municipal water is no longer available. Nelson Mandela Bay has already reached this point.
“This is a major step forward for South Africa and Israel in terms of vital cooperation. We eagerly await the results of this effort including the potential for working with other municipalities across the country. Collaboration with Israel can help overcome the crucial issue of water scarcity that is affecting our country, said the South African Zionist Federation, whose focus is connecting Israel with South Africa, congratulating JNF-SA on this important initiative.